U.S. 8th Army Air Force Day

Join us for a day of artifacts, displays, and talks about the U.S. 8th Army Air Force.

By World War II American Experience February 19, 2024

On Sunday, February 25th from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm, members of The Capital Wing of the Airmen’s Preservation Society will have on display a wide variety of uniforms, equipment, and other artifacts related to the United States Army Air Force during WWII. This date coincides with the 80th anniversary of the end of Big Week, a weeklong sequence of raids by the USAAF and RAF Bomber Command to attack the German aircraft industry and destroy the Luftwaffe, giving the Allies air superiority during the invasion of continental Europe.

The Capital Wing is a WWII USAAF living history group based on the East Coast. Following their motto “To Honor, Preserve, and Remember”, they can regularly be seen at air shows, USAAF reunions, parades, and other events honoring the men and women who served during WWII. Group members will be displaying items from their private collections, including uniforms, parachutes, flight helmets and other equipment that kept them flying. Hands-on displays are an integral part of our demonstrations, with opportunities given to handle and try on some of these historical artifacts from the war.

Jim Thomas will speak about his father who was a pilot in the US 8th Army Air Force. Discussing the experiences of a B-24 heavy bomber crew flying missions over France and Germany and what it took to get to that point. Using his father’s story, he will detail the path traveled by so many; from draft notice through all of the training phases of an Aviation Cadet to combat missions high in the freezing skies over Europe. Jim spent four years tracking down the scattered crew of the B-24 “Dry Run” following his father’s death. Using materials acquired from nine of the ten-man crew, Jim will relate some of what they experienced in the air from their first mission on D-Day June 6, to August 15, 1944.

Andy DeCusati will speak about his father’s cousin who was a radio operator in a B-24 in the 8th Army Air Force in England. Joe DeCusati was the last man in his bomb squadron killed during World War 2. Killed instantly by a piece of flak through the heart. Not even being aware of the existence of this WW2 “Gold Star” relative for much of his life, once discovered, Andy diligently researched the man for decades eventually writing and publishing a book about him, “One of the Last.”

 Ticket Pricing:

General Admission$15 plus tax
Seniors & Veterans$12 plus tax
Student Admission Grades K-12$10 plus tax
Children 5 and under FREE

Active Military FREE with ID

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